One of the best modes of transport for exploring the island is a motorbike. These can be hired at numerous shops across the island and although taxis are available, this is the way to travel. Despite some of the roads being a little nerve-racking, with patches of gravel, sharp bends and hills al commonplace, if you take your time and remain cautious, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Buddhism is the religion of Thailand, with over 90 per cent of the population practicing the faith. As a result, just like you would see churches and cathedrals across Christian European countries, there are few places in Thailand where you won’t find a temple, or wat, and Koh Samui is no exception.

The most visited of all the temples on the island is Big Buddha temple, or Wat Phra Yai. The large golden Buddha statue overlooking the beach is an impressive example of the reverence that Thai people have for the Buddha. Close by, another temple shows a more modern shrine, designed by a Thai artist who also spent 3 years working on certain features of the temple by hand. On the southern tip of the island you will find Wat Khunaram displaying the preserved body of a famed Samuian monk, Lung Padaeng. His body sits in a glass case in the lotus position as if he were meditating.

High in the jungle covered hills of Samui, in a small hidden valley, there are a number of sculptures created by another of the island’s monks. The sculptures represent the dreams of the monk and are situated along a stream in the valley. In addition to this curious museum, the views of the island offer perfect photo opportunities for capturing the spanning beauty of the area.

Those interested in a little giggle at the expense of nature must check out the Hin Ta and Hin Yai (grandfather and grandmother) rock formations which through years of erosion have naturally formed into close representations of both the male and female genital organs.

While out and about exploring the island, you will come across villages that have managed to withstand the tourist industry and hold onto their unique slow pace and quaint charm. Among these villages is the Muslim town of Laem Set, which offers an interesting insight into the lives of such communities.

Waterfalls which offer cascading showers of fresh water during the monsoon and cool seasons can be found inside the foliage of the Samui jungles. Most require a trek but are worth the trip for the seclusion and dense natural surroundings that you won’t find at the beach. Na Mung and Hin Lad are the two most visited, but beware that if you are visiting between the months of March and September, the falls are usually dry.

Muay Thai boxing is Thailand’s number one sport. Since the boom of the tourist industry, these matches have been marketed as tourist attractions, with nightly competitions taking place. The biggest stadiums on Samui are located on Chaweng and Lamai beaches and although tickets can be pricy, you are guaranteed a night of bloody entertainment. It is particularly fun to watch the local spectators betting among themselves and excitedly coaxing their fighters win the match and earn them a few bob.

Snorkelling and scuba diving are among the most popular excursions on the island, with a host of companies offering half and full-day trips to the best sites. Jet-ski hire and speed boat charters can be found on Lamai and Chaweng, and are perfect for high-speed adventure. Or if you prefer to leave your water cruising to the forces that be, try out the tricky sport of kite surfing; kites and lessons are available from agents on Chaweng Beach.

Fishing excursions include boat trips, lunch and equipment, and are a great way to take some pensive time out. With expert inside knowledge of the surrounding waters and where the best catches can be found, it is almost a given that you will return with your dinner, ready to be barbequed and devoured.

Some prefer to keep their adventures dry and firmly grounded on hard soil. Mountain biking in the dense, steep jungles is one way to use your energy for some serious adventure, while off road motorbikes take the curves and swerves of the most terrifyingly tiny dirt tracks with dust-raising vigour.

Families arriving on the island should take full advantage of the many animal attractions on offer. Kids love animals and what could be more entertaining than an afternoon elephant back riding, spotting the diverse colours on a butterfly at a butterfly farm or giggling uncontrollably at the antics of man’s ancestors at the monkey theatre.

If you have money to burn then shopping will definitely be on your to-do list. Chaweng and Lamai offer the most diverse range of shops, from ornaments stalls to designer stores and original boutiques. The smaller beaches also offer some interesting little shops where you may pick up novel memorabilia to take back home.

It is not uncommon for travellers to Thailand to immerse themselves into some form of study while on holiday. Courses are available across the island, including those in yoga, reiki, Thai cooking, Thai massage and Thai boxing. What better way to return home than with a new skill?

If you have taken full advantage of all that Samui has to offer and would like to venture a little farther, then look into a daytrip to one of the spectacular islands located a matter of hours away. Koh Tao is a top Thai destination for scuba diving, while Koh Pha Ngan is the party capital of the south. Both islands have stunning beaches and a wealth of activities to engage in.